For nearly 40 years, Susan Garber has fought to see a public pool opened in North Laurel.

“I was much younger when I started advocating, and I’ll freely admit with my husband by my side … so frankly, when it [the pool] came up again, I was not yet convinced I would see it in my lifetime,” said Garber, a former chair of the Savage Community Association.

But on Tuesday, Garber was full of excitement as she attended a groundbreaking for an indoor pool along with Howard County officials. Garber doesn’t like to swim, but having broken both hips and with her husband lacking mobility, she understands the benefits of a warm-water pool.

“I will make sure I get out here to check that the construction is moving along,” Garber said.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Howard County has broken ground on an indoor pool in North Laurel. The pool is slated to open in fiscal year 2026. (Howard County)

Construction of a public pool in North Laurel has been a long time coming. But the wait is finally — and officially — over.

Howard County has been promising to build the community pool since 2008, according to the county’s capital budget book, but was delayed several times. In this year’s budget season, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball proposed $20.1 million for the pool, which the County Council approved.

“Our North Laurel community has passionately advocated for a pool to bring residents together for exercise and enjoyment,” Ball said at the groundbreaking. “The North Laurel Community Center has always been a beacon in our community and now with these new pools, we can make an even bigger splash for generations to come.”

Once completed, the indoor pool, to be built at the North Laurel Community Center, will be the second public pool in all of Howard County. The other pool, also indoors, is located at the Roger Carter Community Center in Ellicott City.

Plans call for a standard 25-yard-long pool with eight lap lanes and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access. The center will also have a warm-water leisure pool for older swimmers and for young swimmers taking lessons, according to the county.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The project is slated to be finished in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2026.

County Council member Christiana Rigby, who represents the North Laurel area, thanked the community, elected leaders and county staff for getting the project to where it is today.

“I’m so grateful to be the fourth person to serve District 3, but [also] the person who gets to be here when we finally carry it over the finish line, so thank you to everybody who made this possible because it really would not have happened without your advocacy,” Rigby said.

Residents, regardless of where they live in the county, can get a universal membership that provides access to all three community centers: North Laurel, Roger Carter and Gary J. Arthur in Cooksville. The Fit4U Membership includes pool access.

All other pools in the county are private and require residency memberships. For example, the Columbia Association has 23 outdoor pools and four indoor pools for members. Nonresidents can access the pools for a higher daily fee.